Why Additive Manufacturers Need More Production Traceability

Why Additive Manufacturers Need More Production Traceability

Bright AM

Reading Time: 3 minutes

On a given day on a manufacturing shop floor, hundreds of potential mistakes can be made, leading to quality issues and lost time and money. For managers and heads of operations, there are only so many hours in the workday and obvious limitations to how much time can be dedicated strictly to monitoring every process and machine. However, with the rise of modern manufacturing software, it is now possible to have more traceability on the production floor. Real-time production floor data is a powerful tool that improves shop output, creates better customer experiences, and allows manufacturers to waste less time and material for the rework of defective products.

Additive Manufacturing is a fledgling technology within the manufacturing industry that has huge potential: an estimated $23-billion market within the next two years, if the analysts are correct. The technology utilizes digital design plans to direct machines to essentially grow a part or tool layer by layer. Contrast this with traditional manufacturing, which begins with a piece of material and cuts away from it to create a finished product. There is a long runway for growth for Additive Manufacturers, but the industry must remain scrappy because the established and traditional players still have a large advantage when it comes to cost.

Customers love working with Additive Manufacturers because of their ability to be nimble and produce new parts and tools without making huge investments into machinery to operate a line dedicated to a specific part. Additive Manufacturers can make parts for the aerospace industry one day and turn around and start prototyping automobile parts the next.

Traceability is crucial for Additive Manufacturers that need to track every step of a product’s journey through their shop. True traceability is the ability to track each component of a part, from the supplier, through manufacturing, and to the customer. Tracing and tracking a product using software improves quality and gives manufacturers a record that can stand up to an audit or mitigate the impact of a recall.

As manufacturing gets increasingly digital, traceability becomes more important. In the event of a product recall, it allows manufacturers to manage a bad situation and prevent it from becoming worse by reacting quickly and efficiently to get to the root cause of the problem, learning from it, and avoiding future recalls. It also drives better quality control and more efficiency. Increasing traceability leads to a decline in rework, wasted material, product failing to meet specifications, blown budgets and schedules, and unhappy customers. You can give your processes a boost just by having more traceability on the production floor and keeping everyone accountable.

More traceability on the production floor can be accomplished by implementing Bluestreak | Bright AM’s MES+QMS software, which has been designed specifically with the Additive Manufacturing industry in mind. Bluestreak | Bright AM is packed with features strictly geared toward Additive and service-based manufacturers, with the understanding that the environments in which they operate require real-time processing visibility, production control of every step of the process, and integrated quality management.

Bluestreak | Bright AM has been proactive in developing a solution for the Additive Manufacturing industry that has more traceability on the production floor with real-time, actionable data. The platform’s powerful tools offer better production control and workflow management, improved quality management that can be tied directly to individual operators on the floor, enhanced management of non-conformance scrap parts, and the flexibility to track and split parts from different steps of the work order to optimize production. All of this is done within a system that is not weighed down by excess functions that don’t add value for Additive Manufacturing production floors.

There is also built-in traceability and tracking in the Bluestreak | Bright AM package that allows users to immediately begin making improvements to their processes and implementing improved quality control. The program brings better visibility, control, and quality to Additive Manufacturers through their gains in traceability. There is real-time visibility in every production step of the Additive Manufacturing process, control of the build plate and platform, and dialed-in quality control processes, procedures, and specifications for each operator and client.

Real-time shop floor tracking with Bluestreak | Bright AM is the clear-cut answer for Additive Manufacturers that want more traceability and control of their production environment. Traceability is essential for safety, quality, profitability, and reputation. Without it, Additive Manufacturers will fail to capitalize on the gigantic opportunity before them to revolutionize the industry. Eliminate mistakes, become more efficient, and build better relationships with happier customers with Bluestreak | Bright AM.

Bluestreak | Bright AM is designed exclusively for the Additive Manufacturing industry. Our best-of-class MES and QMS solutions bring quality control management to new levels. Contact Bluestreak | Bright AM today for a free demo!